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Children First, Dating Life Second

Posted Sep 21 2013 12:22am
For anyone who reads this blog, you know by now I am a single parent and have been for a number of years. When my son's father left one night the next morning I suddenly found myself a single parent my very worse fear in life other than spiders. As I discovered things missing from our home, I felt very sick to my stomach, cried tears till I could no longer cry, had so much hate and anger over my son and I being abandoned that at times I just did not want to go on with life, however a little boy needed his Mommy. Granted with the sudden life status change, I put all of my focus into my son, getting a job, getting a car etc...

My ex moved on with his life and I did not. I put my son's needs ahead of my own. Was this right or was this wrong? As I look back I think in one way God provided protection for my son and I as our lives were turned upside down like pineapple cake! l. I chose not to date as I did not want a rebound relationship and for my son to either hate who I date or the date hating my son (too many sad stories of situations like this and coming from a broken family myself I understood this all too well). Quite honestly I really was not ready to let go of the man I married, loved and gave my heart and soul til death do us part (the way it is supposed to be) or in my case til divorce do us part. :(

Sometimes, I feel I have lost out on the hopes of finding love a second time around and fearful of the fact that I could be single the rest of my life. It already sucks being single when you are 40 plus something years old and have to start over. I did right by my son putting his needs and well being before my desire to have a husband and a whole family which is something I really wanted and did not get (a little girl's dreams shattered).

As my son was a pre-teen I did go out on a couple of dates to no avail, the men were nice but a couple wanted to settle down and did not want a ready made family, another was like well I just don't want kids. Talk about making a single mom feel great! Apparently those were not meant to be and so I moved on to no more dating it was not worth my time and took care of my responsibilities as I always do.

In retrospect, going on dates is like going on a job interview even though it was still good to go out and be with another adult for attention (the right kind) and conversation plus they paid for the meal (free is always good) and many thanks for being a gentleman!

Now of course my son having come from a single parent household turned out pretty well with some minor issues which is normal in broken families. He is a good student, 18 years old now, graduating high school next year and off to college. I truly believe my sacrifice helped my son become who he is today with my love and guidance, God's strength and wisdom, grace and the embracing love and support of my church, family and friends. (Now that is a positive). 

For myself, I know I did what I felt God was impressing upon me to do at the time, but is that sacrifice affecting the rest of my future? 

  1. Did I miss out on something great? 
  2. Will I get a second chance? 
  3. Is there someone out there that will love me for who I am?
  4. Is there someone who will put up with my stubbornness and faults?
  5. Will I be attractive to someone?
  6. Am I good enough?
  7. Will someone be able to deal with my health issues?
  8. Will someone get that I am a tower of strength?
  9. Will someone love me?
  10. Will someone not abandon me again, once is enough already well twice if you count my biological father?
  11. Will I be rejected again? (the heart can only take so much)
  12. Are there any good, christian men out there who would love a single, divorced Mom and son?
  13. Will I be single and lonely the rest of my days?

All these questions and many more float through my mind. I know all to well what it is like and how lonely I can be especially at events and upcoming holidays. There are times, actually many times I feel like a 3rd wheel and rather stay home alone than celebrate in certain situations (just part of the territory) and only someone who is in a circumstance like this will understand it.

Currently as finances are carefully watched I don't go out to parties, clubs, bars or movies...just not in the budget. I work constantly, come home clean, do laundry, sleep and eat and attend church when I am able. I research articles and write for my 2 blogs and journal quite often my thoughts and prayers or just watch television (such a boring life).

Now for all you single parents I know it is not easy, but remember we all make choices when it comes to dating such as:

            1) Do I say Yes or No you should date? No. That is your decision and only you alone can make it. 

            2) Do I think it is right? Only you know the answer (pray on it). 

            3) Do I think it is wrong to put your needs before your child(ren)? This is personal (we all have natural desires, I made my choice willingly to sacrifice my desires). 

           4) Do I think you are a bad parent if you choose your needs over your child(ren)? Who am I to judge.

           5) What do I think of internet dating?  Hell no! You can talk over the internet and think you know a person, but how do  you know they are telling you the truth without seeing them in person, getting to know them and watching their body language. I believe you need to date a person to get to know them.

Dating as a single parent has it challenges and very quickly you definitely learn a lot about people (men in my case) as I did and who would be a right fit for your child(ren) and yourself. 

When dating make sure that you go somewhere in public, close to home and drive separately with today's world you do not want to take any chances of meeting up with a stranger and find out he or she could be a Craigslist Killer. One just never knows. It can be frightening to go out and date and take a leap of faith. If you have any doubts all you can is pray and tell a couple of close friends where you are going and what time you will be home for your own personal safety.

As I am assessing my life I do give thanks to God every day for what I have and the protection he provided my son and I. 

Now the next phase of my life is coming around the corner (too soon) when my son goes off to college... then I shall be ready to start living my life again since Michael will be on his own for the most part and away from home with his own life until his visits in between.

So come next year...this Mom will start living rest assured that my sacrifice will be blessed one day.

In my personal experience, it was not the right time for me (yes I may have missed something great but will never know for sure) precious son, Michael needed his Mommy and I was not going to turn my back on my little baby boy - God gave me a beautiful, wonderful and precious child that he entrusted me to care for, so how could I put my selfish needs (girl who always has to do the responsible duty laid out before herself) above his needs (he depended on me he was just 2 1/2 years old)?

The answer is simple...

I have a Mother's love and an open heart. :)

Dearest Michael Andrew,

I wrote your name in the sky
but the wind blew it away
I wrote your name in the sand
but the waves washed it away
I wrote your name in my heart
and forever it will stay

Love you forever always,

(aka Anne Margaret)

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